Saturday, August 20, 2016

Race Riots Hit Milwaukee - Missed Opportunity

Pent up anger has now been unleashed in Milwaukee, following a police shooting. This follows Ferguson, MO, and Baltimore. What city will be next?

I started the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) in Chicago in 1993 with a goal of helping volunteer-based tutoring and/or mentoring programs grow in high poverty neighborhoods.  I used a quarterly newsletter to share this vision and to share information from my web library. In the mid 1990s I was invited by the Milwaukee Foundation to add about a dozen organizations from Milwaukee to the distribution list, which I did.  In the following years I met with leaders from Milwaukee, and people representing Milwaukee programs came to Chicago for the spring and fall Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conferences.

However, this never led to adoption of the Tutor/Mentor Connection strategy in Milwaukee.  It's never been adopted in Chicago, either.

Below is a map that shows the racial concentrations in Milwaukee. I've pointed to this mapping platform below, showing racial distribution in Chicago.

If someone in Milwaukee were leading a T/MC strategy they would be able to produce a map like this, with overlays showing locations of non-school tutoring, mentoring and learning programs.  Using that map the would be leading a year-round marketing campaign intended to draw volunteers and donors to existing programs, while helping groups create new programs where more are needed. They would have people meeting regularly to share ideas and they would have people connecting with programs in Chicago and other cities to borrow ideas from more places.

The first map below was created using the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator, which the T/MC built in 2008, but which has not been funded since 2010. It's a model that should be duplicated. It is also a starting point for people who want to partner in stead of starting from scratch.


This second map is from a Brookings.edu article, showing cities around the country with the same problems as Milwaukee, Chicago, Baltimore, etc. I wrote about it here.

Leaders in everyone of these cities should be reading this article that I shared on the I-Open Blog, which focuses on the Cleveland, OH area.

If you cannot answer "YES, We do." you should be creating a team to begin digging into the ideas I have been sharing for the past 20 years, and you should be inviting me to meet with you to help you understand and apply those ideas.

It's not a quick fix.  But you don't want to look back in a few years an say "I wish we had done that."

8-21-16 UPDATE:  Here's a New  York Times article titled "Affluent and Black, and Still Trapped by Segregation".   In addition, here is a concept map showing the research section of the Tutor/Mentor web library, which included many articles related to place, race and poverty.   Until many more people are reading these articles, and combining their learning with direct interaction across race and poverty boundaries, too few will have enough information or commitment to actually find solutions.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Invitation to Mega-City Leaders - Let's Connect

The graphic below shows the largest cities in the world. You can find it on this page, which features an interactive map showing growth of mega cities over the past 100 years.


I have written articles in the past, such as this one, stating that cities with populations of over 1 million, especially those with populations over 10 million, have unique challenges and opportunities due to the size of the city, the bureaucracy, and the isolation of people living in areas of concentrated poverty.

I've created concept maps and visualizations that show the planning process and commitment needed by people in every sector and zip code of a city to help close the gaps between rich and poor. Here are a few:

Leadership Commitment. Mentoring Kids To Careers. See map.



Four part strategy.  Actions needed to achieve commitment. See here.  See description here.


Planning Process. Including building "public will".  See explanation.


Throughout this blog, the Tutor/Mentor blog and the Tutor/Mentor Exchange blog, I constantly demonstrate a use of maps to focus attention on were people need the most help, and to support efforts that draw needed resources to each of these areas.

If you live in one of the cities shown on the map above, and you're concerned about the impact of poverty, inequality, youth isolation, etc., I hope you'll take a look at these maps, and browse my Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site and share this with others who have the same concern, and who may already be doing great work to reduce these problems.

People in big cities need to be connecting, building relationships, sharing ideas, and innovating ways to draw resources to their work.

I'm on Twitter @tutormentorteam and Facebook, too. Also on G+ Let's Connect.




Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Rural and Urban America Not As Different as One Might Think - Maybe

I encourage you to look at the map on this Brookings.edu article, titled "Political rhetoric exaggerates economic divisions between rural and urban America".

The map, and the article, show that "Nearly 54 percent of people living in areas classified by the Census Bureau as rural also live in a county that is part of one of the nation’s 383 metropolitan areas."

Thus, it's the other 46% who are not closely connected to any city.

This is significant because the web library I've been building since 1993 focuses on urban issues and urban poverty and inequality.  In many articles I've suggested that the largest urban areas, where school age student population is greater than 100,000 students, have  unique problems caused by the number of students and the size of the bureaucracy that are different that rural areas, where lack of density and distance between students and potential support offer barrier to place based support services like non-school tutor/mentor programs.


Thus, I've encouraged others to duplicate the Tutor/Mentor Connection, using all the same ideas and practices, but with a library that identifies uniquely rural challenges, as well as organizations that are innovating solutions to those challenges.

If you're building such a library, let's connect.


UPDATE: 8/10/2016

Recently two resources that map poverty in the Appalachian region have  come to my attention. Here's the links:

1) Community Commons web site story, Mapping Poverty in the Appalachian Region

2) Appalachian region data overview from the 2010-14 American Community Survey Chartbook

Friday, July 22, 2016

Mapping Black Led Organizations - Funder Initiative

In today's scan of the Internet I found this article on the web site of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. It's titled, "Four Steps Foundations Should Take to Address Racial Equity".

In Step 1 they point to the map shown below, which you can find at this link.


In other articles about philanthropy on this blog, and in the Tutor/Mentor blog, I've focused on  the need to invest on-going funds in building strong organizations serving youth and families in high poverty, high minority, neighborhoods.  I've encouraged funders to create maps like this, showing organizations doing needed work, and showing who is being funded.  The map above is one of two on the site.

If you're a Black-led organization and not yet on the map, click here, to introduce yourself and be added to the map.

I've been building a map-based directory for over 20 years and understand how difficult it is to gather the information, and keep it updated from year to  year.  It takes the active involvement of organizations seeking funds, as well as those providing funds, and the intermediary who builds and manages the map.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

It's Still Not Too Late

Below is a Letter to the Editor that I wrote to the Chronicle of Philanthropy in 1998. No foundation stepped forward to provide the support I was asking for, but the need still exists.


Browse past articles on this blog, and on the Tutor/Mentor blog to see how I've been using maps, which is how leaders from any city, and every sector could also be using maps.

Read this section of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC Planning Wiki to see what my goal for using G IS maps has been since 1993. Read this section to see what the Chicago Tutor/Mentor Program Locator is intended to do, and to see challenges it's currently facing.

Then read this section to see a vision for using the Program Locator as a crowd-funding platform.

This can all be kept available in Chicago, or made available in any other city, if an investor/benefactor and/or partner will come forward to help.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Chicago's Public Housing Changes Not Good for All


Today I read this report on the Better Government Association web site, titled "CHA's Transformation Reshaped a City".  It shows while the displacement of public housing residents led to gentrification in some neighborhoods, which had a positive impact on CHA residents who were able to obtain vouchers and live in these areas, most of the benefit went to those moving in, and less went to the poor people who most often moved into other neighborhoods which already held concentrations of poverty.

In 2010 I included the map of Cabrini-Green (shown above) in this blog article, under the title, "Cabrini-Green gone. Are you sure?"

The BGA article includes a statement that 3200 families now live in Chicago's Near North area.  If families average 3 children per family, that would mean there are at least 9,000 low-income kids hidden in this area and I'm not aware of a lot of non-school tutor/mentor programs still there to help them.  Maybe they don't need as much help since affluent families tend to support schools with better trained teachers and more learning opportunities. That benefits poor kids, too.

In January I created a new map showing locations of the youth serving organizations in my database.  If you set my map next to the map in the BGA article, you can begin to determine what level of non-school, volunteer-based tutoring, mentoring and learning programs are available in areas where former CHA residents have been moving.

This is an analysis that should include business, political, government, religious, university, CPS, media and residents, with neighborhood groups focusing attention on each of the high poverty community areas.  It's something that should be funded by the major foundations, or by the city, or the CHA.  

The result should be the growth of more and better services to youth and families in the high poverty areas where former CHA residents live, as well as the development of needed programs in the areas where poor people are living mixed in with people of more affluent backgrounds.